Colon cancer: Dr Zoe outlines the symptoms to look out for
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Although colon cancer can occur at any age, it mainly affects older people. Many colon cancer patients have no symptoms at the early stages. As survival rate is often dependent on the stage, early detection can be helpful. Here’s one risk factor for this cancer and the signs that come with it.
Ulcerative colitis is a condition linked to greater chances of developing colon cancer.
This is especially higher for people who have had the condition for several years or more, health portal Patient.Info reports.
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic condition causing inflammation in your colon and rectum, the NHS explains.
This can be accompanied by small ulcers on the colon’s lining.
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These ulcers can bleed and produce pus, as reported by the health service.
When it comes to the cancer risk, Patient.Info says that about one in 10 people who have suffered from ulcerative colitis for 20 years will develop cancer.
The health portal states that this is more of a risk for those with frequent flare-ups that affect much of the large intestine.
People with the condition are advised to have their colon routinely checked.
The flare-ups of ulcerative colitis can be accompanied by some symptoms apparent when you go to the toilet.
Here are the signs to spot:
- Blood in your diarrhoea
- Cramps in the tummy
- Pain when passing stools.
The health portal explains that diarrhoea can vary from mild to severe, and even be mixed with mucus or pus.
Because your colon becomes inflamed, this means that water can’t be properly absorbed, making your stool watery.
Other common symptom is an urgency to get to the loo.
Feeling like you need the toilet even when you don’t can also be a tell-tale sign of the condition.
Symptoms like diarrhoea, blood in the stool and cramps are also linked to colon cancer.
That’s why it’s important to speak to your GP if symptoms like these are troubling you.
If you’re at a higher risk of colon cancer, doctors advise to undergo cancer screening, the Mayo Clinic reports.
There are few screening options available.
Your GP will help you to choose the best option for you.
There are also some lifestyle changes you can incorporate into your routine for lower risk of colon cancer, including a healthy diet, exercise, moderate alcohol intake and quitting smoking.
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